Sunday, September 27, 2009

Altamont Orchards. First Cider Donut of the Season.

There's nuthin' like the onset of the fall season to make a tried and true Upstate New York boy (Appleknocker) like myself wax poetic about his home region. Fall, and everything that comes along with it around here, makes me love where I am from. The leaves changing, the solemn grayness of the cold weather, the celebration of Autumn foods and traditions all get me excited come late September. I already have a couple heady winter brews fermenting away in my newly chilly kitchen and I can't wait to start indulging myself with heavy fall cooking. Another way I like to herald the coming of the fall season is to go over to Altamont Orchards to gobble up some of their fresh, warm cider donuts. This rainy Sunday I did just that.

We decided that actual apple picking might be a bridge too far today as it rained all night. We did not want young Giblet's first apple picking experience to be soggy and miserable. Arriving at Altamont Orchards we found that there was a haunted house going on. We didn't go in, but we did get a photo of Giblet next to the fierce demon who haunts barrels of cider apples.

We browsed the apples first.

Macs, Cortlands, Macouns, Red Delicious, Fuji, whatever your apple craving heart desires by the bushel, 1/2 bushel, etc... They also have a nice selection of pumpkins, root vegetables, peppers, and a few other orchard fruits. Mrs. Dave got a small bag of Paula Reds and we picked up some cooking apples for my mom.

Altamont Orchards has a country store-esque space that peddles all sorts of local, folksy products. Think jams, pickles, relishes, stuff like that. A lot of it is pretty pricey, but you can still find some deals. I was excited to see a cold case filled with bacon! I think my hand was shaking a little with excitement, so excuse the poor picture.

I picked up a small pack of cinnamon bacon and a somewhat larger package of applewood smoked seasoning bacon chunks. I was very excited for the cinnamon bacon, that sounds like an excellent flavor combination to me.

There is a large bakery section as well with all sorts of homemade pies, danishes, cookies, etc..

The real stars of the bakery at Altamont Orchards are the Cider Donuts. They make them fresh, all day, in an open kitchen you can peek into. A half dozen is 3.99, and to me that is a bargain. They come warm and kissed with just enough unctuous grease. They are small, but not over small, maybe four bites worth. Light, fluffy, pillows of cinnamon/sugar goodness. I ate 2 and a half. Get them early in the season because come October people will be queueing out the doors waiting for donuts.

My wife also likes the apple fritters, you have to be lucky to get these fresh and warm, but I have seen it.

There is also a small snack bar in the back peddling hot chocolate, soup, and stuff like that. Today they had chili. I saw someone walk by with a serving and had to get a bowl to split with the wife.

The chili was served with a sprinkling of orange cheese and fresh, diced, white onion and some saltines on the side. It was thin and mildly spicy, possibly canned, but maybe not. I don't care, sitting with the wee 'un and the wife at one of the little tables amongst the orchard's homey surroundings made it taste very good. We even gave Giblet a small taste of the spicy stuff, she was gleeful. More evidence to me that she is a future fearless wild woman.

Anyways, if you are from the area take a trip out there and buy some apples. Give them to your mom or something, she will appreciate it and you really don't get over to see your mum enough, now do you? I will let you know if the bacon is any good.

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